BUT FIRST... INTRODUCTIONS...

Hey There! 

My name is Natalie Rathman & I am the owner and founder of The Compulsive Traveler. I figured the first thing we should take care of is introductions, that way I can tell you about how The Compulsive Traveler came to be... 

It all started about 3 years ago, when my husband Brad accepted a job in the Democratic Republic of Congo. (You already have so many questions, I'm sure. Well if I don't answer them here.. then submit a question below or by email. I'd be so happy to answer them.)  Initially we planned on just doing it for a year. We figured we'd have some fun, travel, etc. Well here we are 3 years later still living this crazy life, but I think we'd agree it has been worth it. Brad has made major strides in his career, we've seen much of the world, I've been discovering what it is that I am truly passionate about, and it's just been a big adventure. 

About two years ago, I started my travel blog, The Compulsive Traveler. I realized that with all the places we have visited and things we have done, it would be a lot of fun to not only share my stories with others, but have a documented log of everything we have done together. What I didn't realize at the time, is where this journey was going to take me. 

As I began taking pictures with more of a purpose, aka the blog, I realized that I could definitely improve my photographic work, and I didn't mind doing it since taking pictures has always been one of my favorite parts of traveling. ..that and shopping. One of my major goals on my trips now, is not just to get great pictures, but to push myself out of my comfort zone. It is part of why I pick new places over revisiting favorite spots. There is always something different for me to photograph, and that for me is a big part of the excitement of traveling. 

Over the last year, I have talked a lot about beginning to sell my photographic work, but I kept letting the "what if's" that come along with Brad's career trump my desire to create my own success. Finally, a couple months ago, I pretty much said, "whatever, I'm doing it". I figured, everything has always worked out the way it was intended to, and it will continue to. I couldn't keep letting the present control my future ...and with that The Compulsive Traveler Photography & Lifestyle Shop was born. 

I know what you are thinking, "What do rugs and throw pillows have to do with photography?". Well, remember, what I said about shopping? haha.  Seriously, though. So although I do not have a degree in Interior design, I have taken courses, and it is one of my great loves. I love how moving a wall, or changing a kitchen layout, or even just changing pillows can transform a space. 

I think I fell more in love with interior design while helping my parents with a remodel on the guest suite at their home. ...and then, even more so, while doing a full remodel on my own home here in Scottsdale, which I call the Bungalow. I'm talking about replacing all the flooring, reworking the bathrooms, refinishing the walls... EVERYTHING! ...and I loved it. I would wake up at 5 AM some days, put on my work out gear, meet the contractors and get to work. It was exhausting, difficult, and I'd say one of my great achievements. 

I love to be hands on. I love to pick things one by one because I am a truly particular person. My eye for detail can be my own worst enemy. ...but here we are, with a new shop, that I am so excited to be able to share with you. A store full of my work effort and loved pieces from around the world. 

I hope you enjoy! ...and please check back, as new prints and decor pieces will be added often. 

If you ever have any questions I am always just an email away. 

Natalie Rathman 

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